A Beginner’s Guide to Conversion Tracking With Google Analytics


Brody Hall

 on May 20, 2022. 
Reviewed by 

Kirsty Macdougall

Woman working on a laptop at a desk

Google Analytics is a free web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. Tracking on Google is an easy-to-use, powerful tool that provides insights about your website visitors, including where they come from, what they do on your site, and how they interact with your content. Google Analytics also provides data about your site's overall health, including page views and unique visitors.

What Is a Conversion?

A conversion is any interaction on your website that results in a desired outcome, such as a sale, registration, or email sign-up. In Google Analytics, you can measure how many conversions your website generates, gain access to conversion funnel analytics, and see which traffic sources are most effective at driving conversions. This data can be used to inform your customer engagement strategies to increase conversion rates. You can also use conversion tracking to improve your website's performance by identifying areas that need improvement.

How Does Conversion Tracking Work in Google Analytics?

One of the features of Google Analytics is conversion tracking, which allows you to see how well your website is performing in terms of conversions. When a user visits your website, Google Analytics (GA) sets a cookie on their browser. This cookie contains a unique identifier that GA uses to track the user's activity on your website. When the user completes an action, such as submitting a form or clicking a button, GA sends information about this action to its servers. GA records this information in its database and then calculates how many conversions (or goals) the action resulted in.

If you have enabled conversion tracking in GA, you can see this information in your reports. The "Conversions" tab shows how many conversions each of your goals has resulted in, while the "Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels" report shows how many conversions each traffic source has generated. You can also use the Funnel Visualization report to see how users are progressing through your conversion funnel.

How to Track Conversions in Google Analytics

To track a conversion in Google Analytics, simply:

  1. Go to the Google Analytics admin panel by clicking "Admin" on the dashboard's side menu. You'll find it on the bottom left-hand side of your screen.
  2. From the Admin panel, navigate to "Goals" found in the third column.
  3. Click the "+NEW GOAL" button to set up your first goal.
  4. Choose your goal type. You can either choose from the preset goals or select "Custom" to create your own. For the purpose of tracking conversions, we'll create a custom goal.
  5. The next step is to name and describe your new goal. There are a few options to choose from here, so be sure to think carefully about what your best options would be to track the types of conversions you would like to target.
  6. Add the relevant goal details and verify by clicking the "Verify this Goal" and then click the "Save" button to confirm.

Conversions aren't the only metric you should track. Doing a customer churn analysis in conjunction with conversion tracking will grant you insights into your customers' journey to prevent losing valuable customers. High churn rates will invariably negatively impact your conversion rates. A further metric to utilize is analyzing customer checkout behavior, which can also be tracked using Google Analytics.

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